Update (12:30pm): Information gathered this morning from human remains is “consistent” with that of Robert Bee, the missing boy from Pekin.
But the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office is quick to point out that no positive identification can be made until DNA testing confirms a match.
The Sheriff’s office says a forensic pathologist's examination this morning determined that based on the skeletal and dental remains, it could be Robert Bee.
The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Pekin Police Department, Tazewell County Coroner’s Office and Illinois State Police, are continuing the investigation.
This story is developing. Continue to check back for updates.
The Tazewell County Sheriff's Department and the Coroner's Office are working to identify skeletal remains found Monday afternoon in South Pekin.
Chief Deputy Jeff Lower says the property owner called the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department to the scene at 2:14 p.m. He says a deputy determined the remains were human and then contacted the Tazewell County Coroner and the Illinois State Police. Lower says the Illinois State Police took command of the search because of the agency’s specialized on-scene investigation capability.
Lower says police were able to recover a full skeleton in the search that including an adjacent wooded area. He says is looks like an animal may have scattered some of the bones which also may have allowed them to be seen. The property was last mowed three weeks ago, and the owner says the bones were not there at that time.
Police and search crews spent the evening hours combing the area surrounding the location of the remains. "We are trying to do everything by the book. We want to be able to follow up on every lead and make sure that we can identify this person properly," Lower said.
An autopsy is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday. That will be handles by the Peoria County Coroner's office for the use of a dental expert. Chief Deputy Lower says that will be the best possible way of making an identification.Police are not releasing the size of the remains and say the autopsy will be necessary to determine whether it was a male or female.
It is standard procedure for officials to reach out to family members of those who are missing locally when human remains are recovered. It is not clear whether Robert Bee’s family has been contacted. The 13-year-old Pekin boy went missing in November last year.
The community search and recovery effort has stretched far and wide in the Bee case. A private group out of Missouri was searching the area over the weekend and found a small shirt. It was determined Monday not to belong to Robert Bee.
Tazewell County Police are working with Pekin and Illinois State Police on the case of the remains found Monday. Chief Deputy Lower says they are asking everyone to be patient while police work to make an identification and move forward in anyway necessary.